I am being bullied by my tenant

by Readers Question

7:48 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

I am being bullied by my tenant

Make Text Bigger
I am being bullied by my tenant

I look after a small property portfolio and going forward I will be handing it over to a managing agent. The main reason being I have a tenant who is harassing me constantly about three things: I am being bullied by my tenant

Gas certfificate. This was due to be done last week, he refused entry to the gas man and my parents who had the keys. He is reporting me to the HSE (as it expired last week) even though he has denied access and says he is taking legal action as I have broken the law. I am content that I have not broken the law as I have proof that he has not allowed access.

Fence – is making a noise at night, he send me threatening and harrasing messages how he can’t sleep and he told me about the fence 4 weeks ago which he did not. I had to check my deeds to ensure that the fence is mine and have arranged for a quote to be provided this week. Thsi appears to be too little too late and so he is just being agrressive now.

Fridge – it makes a noise, he was given the engineers number but he says he is not doing my job for me and I need to sort it.

My issue is that he has paid three months in advance – can I get him to leave sooner as he is causing me stress with his constant baggering by text. whatsapp and email. Its always agressive and threatening.

Thanks

Sharmela Patel



Comments

Mark Alexander

7:58 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Hi Sharmella

Presumably, as you are self managing this property, you have met this tenant?

When you first met him did he seem aggressive? If so, why did you let the property to him?

It is important to remember that emotion is often difficult to gauge in written messages. Some people command of the English isn't wonderful and the most innocent of messages can appear to be demanding. It may just be that your tenant has high expectations and that's often not a bad thing. The most important think for you is not to retaliate with aggressive messages. Be nice and arrange to meet him. Take a tradesman with you, not a burly bloke who looks like your minder, just a well mannered "can-do-man".

Tell your tenant that you want to make certain that you want him to feel comfortable in his own home and then see to all the jobs ASAP.

If he continues to be difficult then at that point you can fire a warning shot across his bows. There is nothing more powerful than a letter from a Direct Access Barrister and contrary to popular belief that's actually far cheaper than engaging a solicitor. Check out the member profile for Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law) >>> http://www.property118.com/member/?id=1945

I wish you well and please report back on how you get on.
.

Farah Damji

8:01 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Being a landlord entails responsibility. It's not just about pocketing rent and sayonara. He has a right to a respectable standard of living, just as you have the right to be paid your rent on time. If landlords - and 99% of us do- realised that a tenancy is a form of social contract perhaps there would be less outrage and less attempts to regulate the sector against rogues.

Whilst his delivery might be questionable, he's entitled to getting basic things sorted swiftly. It comes back to the Golden Rule, treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself. Especially when they're paying for the pleasure.

Being a landlord is a job like any other. If you can't hack it, outsourcing to someone who can is probably a very good idea. I run a small social lettings firm, we are very picky about what landlords we'll work with and try and avoid accidental landlords for their lack of understanding about their rights and responsibilities.

Joe Bloggs

8:44 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

i had a similar tenant from hell a few years ago. it turned out he didnt like the location of my house and wanted to live somewhere else from the start. i wonder if your tenant wants out too as his complaints sound ridiculous. i would ask him what he really wants and i suspect he wants his rent in advance back and to go. dont give in to his stupid demands...that will make him worse and a rod for your back. you can seek possession if he wont allow access...so IMO GET RID ASAP.

Mark Alexander

8:59 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "12/05/2014 - 08:44":

I disagree, if it is the case that the tenant wants to go I would do all that I could to help him/her to achieve that goal in the nicest possible way. The last thing I would ever want is a tenant who feels trapped.

You have added another angle to this conversation though and that's the importance of getting to the cause of the problem as opposed to solving the problem as it first appears.

I too have had situations like this but on every single occasion the tenant has come good.

Where I've had a tenant who is still in their fixed term contract but wants to move (very few but a handful over 25 years of being a landlord) I do all that I can to help them. I agree to advertise the property again on the basis they will pay for my advert and show new tenants around. I agree to release them from their contract with me with no penalty as soon as a replacement tenant is found. In every situation I've come across like this the problem has been due to a change in circumstances, e.g. partner has left them, met a new partner, change in employment circumstances, death of partner (remember I rent to elderly people so this does happen sadly) and one case of a tenant admitting he's made a mistake just a few weeks into his contract having found somewhere else he prefers in another part of town.
.

sharmela Jansari

9:35 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments. The house is in top condition (newly painted and carpeted or flooring as aplicable throughout) and its just the gas cert has come up for renewal. The fridge is new and within its year warranty so its just a matter of providing the fridge number for the enginner to come out. The fence he told me just needed a nail in it (this was just two weeks ago)

I did meet him before the tennacy started and he seemed sane at the time. It was via a managing agent. He's nearly done month one of the three month advance so I will be serving notice soon because its just not acceptable to me to have an abusive tenant. Hopefully he wont trash the place before going!

George Sandy

9:41 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

How can tenant 'refuse' access'. You have a legal right to gain access for legal purposes, including inspections. Just need to make an appointment.

BigMc

9:52 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Farah Damji" at "12/05/2014 - 08:01":

In what way does your comment address or even acknowledge the original point that the tenant is refusing access for a gas safety check. If you can't get in you can't address any problems.
Also in what way is it unreasonable to provide a telephone number to agree a convenient time with a service engineer.
Good luck Sharmella. I strongly support Mark's recommendation to meet tenant with a tradesman.

sharmela Jansari

9:54 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Thanks I will be there on Thursday with gas man and fence man....tenant may or may not be there....

Joe Bloggs

9:57 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "12/05/2014 - 08:59":

mark, what exactly are you disagreeing with me about???? we seem to be saying much the same thing. if a tenant is unhappy or a nuisance best that he goes rather than prolong agony.

Mark Alexander

10:10 AM, 12th May 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "12/05/2014 - 09:57":

I have read your comment again and on reflection I think you are right, we are indeed saying the same thing 🙂
.

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

LANDLORDS TAX PLANNING PAGE UPDATE

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More